“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 (NIV)
Luke 21:36 and other scriptures given on how we should be conducting ourselves about His return, then we should allow ourselves to be reminded that the word has not changed. It is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. The Old Testament from the prophets of the coming of the Christ to this day; the word is true to all who believe.
The details in Chapter 21 describe many events where Jesus warns that they would happen suddenly: “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34) He then says, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (verse 36)
Jesus also warned us that we are too easily distracted by the physical and will be caught unaware if we do not continually discipline ourselves. He warned His disciples, in the garden of Gethsemane, that their physical need overpowered their desire to obey Him. He was grieved when He saw this, knowing what was ahead for them. If they did not remain spiritually vigilant, in tune with Him (John 15:5) and ready to deny the flesh, they would be overcome by the evil one. (1 Peter 5:8)
Today, we too must also watch and pray. We are so easily distracted by this world, our fleshly needs and desires, and the schemes of the enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11). When we take our eyes from Jesus and His soon return, our values begin to shift, our attention wanders, and soon we are living like the world and bearing little fruit for God’s kingdom (1 Timothy 6:18-19). He warned us that we must be ready at any moment to stand before Him and give an account of our lives (Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 4:5; Mathews 12:36). We can only remain faithful when we are devoted to prayer. to keep watch, we must pray for endurance and freedom from distractions (Hebrews 12:2; Luke 18:1; Ephesians 6:18)
We need to watch and pray, Church. While this world continues to grow eviler as racial murders have increased of innocent blood, sex trafficking has not ceased, Christians persecuted; the world as we know it, has changed, and I believe that it will never be the same after this pandemic. It is waxing colder and filled with more evil and hateful acts than ever before. The church has a charge: to be alert and continue in prayer.
The disciples ask, Lord teach us how to pray, in Matthew 6:9. In reply, Jesus spoke one of His most world-altering statements you’ve ever heard that begins, “Our Father.”
Be blessed and safe.
Dr. Jacqueline L. Nophlin, Household Of Faith Community Church 412 Oakview Ave. Bristol, Va., may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.